Murphy has committed to a 50% net reduction in emissions by 2025, becoming carbon net zero by 2030 and net positive by 2050.
To get there it will pay for 5,000 trees a year to be planted but is also switching to greener machinery. It plans to spend £75m on reduced-carbon machinery, much of which is likely to be battery or solar powered.
Murphy has had a battery powered Faresin telehandler on the HS2 Curzon Street Station site in Birmingham city centre, where its LMJV joint venture with Laing O’Rourke is the early works contractor.
Projects like HS2 have helped keep Murphy in a position to invest. Despite Covid-19 restrictions making life difficult for many companies, J Murphy & Sons grew its revenue by more than 26% in 2020 to £1,113.1m (2019: £880.2m), which could well see it breaking into the top 20 of UK construction contractors the next time the rankings are compiled.
It also strongly improved its operating profit, reaching £12.9m (2019: £1.1m) and has built up substantial net cash reserves at £173.8m (2019: £71.1m).
Murphy’s final results will be filed next month but chief executive John Murphy said ahead of the event: “Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Murphy delivered a strong financial performance across all of our key markets and geographies, underlining the resilience of our business model, the quality of our client relationships and our improvements in contract selection and project controls.”
He added: “The momentum we generated last year has continued into 2021 and we have strong visibility over the remainder of the year, as we continue to deliver vital infrastructure that is essential to our economies across the markets where we operate.”